Couple sues for negligence after dog goes for PetSmart nail trim, ends up dying

Imagine if you took your dog to the groomers and when you went to pick him up he was dying? 

That's exactly what a San Mateo couple says happened  to them when they took their puppy to a PetSmart to get his nails clipped. Now the couple is suing for negligence. 

Terrie Peacock and Stefan Zier say a trip to a San Mateo PetSmart to get their puppy's nails trimmed turned out to be deadly this past May. 

"He came out spewing blood," said Zier. "I was helpless." 

"I didn't know that just taking him in would end his life," Peacock said.

The couple says one-year-old Henry was crushed while in the care of 38-year-old groomer, Juan Zarate. Criminal charges against Zarate are now pending. 

"He went in for a routine nail trim and he came out within seconds with two broken ribs, a punctured lung and was foaming at the mouth," said Alison Cordova, the couple's attorney. 

Peacock says she was traumatized. "It's like if I were going out for a a pedicure and I died getting a pedicure," she said. 

"I called the San Mateo P.D. because this was egregious. This was horrific," said Zier. 

"The variety of injuries is quite astonishing," said Cordova. 

Cordova cites at least 40 pet deaths at PetSmarts across the country, ranging from blunt force trauma to the head, strangulation and heat exhaustion from dogs left unattended in dryers up to 135 degrees. 

"The groomer never apologized," said Cordova. "There was never an explanation provided for why Henry was crushed and died." 

The couple hopes that this lawsuit will not only force PetSmart to change its policies with regards to training its groomers, but that it will also force an overhaul of the entire pet-grooming industry over, which at this point, there is no government oversight. 

"We never had children, so I hope people can understand that these are our children," said Zier. 

Peacock and Zier take comfort in their other two dogs, siblings of Henry's, but they say what happened to them should never happen to anyone else and that's why they're suing PetSmart. 

PetSmart declined to comment for this story, saying that it can't comment because of pending litigation.